Community Gardens Prove Popular

Friday 19 October 2012, 1:59PM
By Tasman District Council


The Motueka Community Gardens were established in 2010 on Tasman District Council land on Old Wharf Road, opposite the Motueka Recreation Centre.

The Trust which runs the gardens was registered early in 2011 with the primary aims of providing a community food production garden for the sustainable production of organic food, promoting the concept and benefits of community food production gardens, and encouraging self-sufficiency in local food supplies. Community gardens are being built in many centres in New Zealand to promote local growth of food and sharing of resources and work, especially among people who cannot manage a garden in their own property, and to provide learning opportunities.

The Motueka Community Gardens recently hosted a workshop, attended by more than 50 people, on how to build a biodigester. Biodigestion is a way of producing natural gas from green waste, and some of the compost at the gardens will now be used to fuel a BBQ down at the gardens. Bill Rucks, international energy expert, led the workshop in how to make and install your own biodigester at home. Established biogas facilities have shown yields of up to .9 cubic metres of biogas per 1 kg of added biomass (green waste). 1 cubic metre of Biogas is equal to:

  • 60 -100 watt bulb for 6 hours
  • can cook 3 meals for a family of 5 – 6
  • 0.7 kg of petrol
  • can run a one horse power motor for 2 hours
  • can generate 1.25 kilowatt hours of electricity


Motueka Community Gardens chairwoman Tara Forde said “I am hoping that through having the biodigester at the gardens, individual households will see how they can use a biodigester. The BBQ at the gardens is only a show piece, actually people could have biodigesters that provide energy for other appliances around the home.”

In Tasman District there are community gardens in Brightwater, Golden Bay and Motueka. Recently several Richmond people have suggested that it would be good to develop a community garden in Richmond. If you are interested in supporting and/or contributing, please come along to a public meeting at the Richmond Library, on Thursday 25 October 2012 at 7.00 pm. For more details call Council’s Environmental Educator Rob Francis on Ph. 03 543 8484.